Millions of fish probably suffocated

September 11, 2009 5:47:43 AM PDT
Experts say approximately 2 million fish found dead in the Neuse River over the past week probably suffocated.Test results are expected next week, but experts say low oxygen saltwater along the river bottom mixed with the upper layers of fresh water caused the deaths.

Scientists at UNC - Chapel Hill's Institute of Marine Science in Morehead City have been measuring oxygen levels along the bottom of the river. Professor Hans Paerl said conditions were "ripe for a fish kill."

He said high winds and recent storms helped stir the water.

Professor Paerl said tests have found no conditions other than low oxygen that could have killed the fish, mostly Atlantic menhaden.


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